Bookshelf 2013

My Bookshelf 2013: Books I’ve Read this Year

In My Bookshelf, Resources, Writing by Shannon CochranLeave a Comment

My-BookshelfIt’s funny the things I remember now as an adult. 75 books–my 4th grade reading goal. I loved Gertrude Chandler Warner’s Boxcar Children Mysteries. Ssshhh, I liked Amelia Bedilia books, too. But now I can’t remember if I could get away with counting those I Can Read (2) books toward my 4th grade achievements.

And I can’t deny trying reading Judy Blume . . . “I must, I must, I must increase my . . . ”

But I’m a grown-up now. A wife, a homeschool mom. I’m a writer and life-giver that often feels I have too much responsibility to justify the personal luxury of stop-drop-and reading. And I must admit my children lap me at reading. They’ll be far more cultured at a younger age than their mommy.

Yet I believe in the lifelong pursuit of growth. Of change. Of improvement. So to say, “I’m not a reader,” “I don’t have time to read,” or that classics, fiction, or another work that could help me grow “isn’t my thing” may mean that I’m a stuck person. Immovable. Unmoldable. Lodged in a lifelong rut.

I don’t wanna stay “stuck” in a rut all my life. Do you?

I’ve found the wise words of my friend’s mom helpful. “That wasn’t part of my experiences.” Being a bookworm or “an adhesive reader” to use the words of my oldest son who just happens to be one, isn’t a part of the encouragement of my upbringing or reflective of my natural tendencies.

And that’s OK. Reading as a priority hasn’t long been part of my experiences.

But with desire to keep growing, I’m changing. Changing my thoughts, my ways. Even altering my schedule to reflect a shift in my priorities that includes reading.

It’s true. If we really want to change we need to substitute words and actions. We need a new script. New words. Different actions. We must replace what we once thought/said/did with something different. Otherwise we remain in that rut. The change we want will never happen.

Here are some new words and ways to reflect my changing thoughts re: reading.

My new script:  I’m an emerging reader now. Starting to learn the value of and get hooked on a good book! Before I thought fiction was only for escape or entertainment, but now I realize the value and power of a good story. I no longer choose only a non-fiction book to learn something.

My new act: I’m making little changes. Substituting old habits with new ones such as going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual to read a chapter in my book. Or bringing a book to football practice–10-20 minutes of reading during a 3-hour practice is productive, yet not all-consuming! Or devoting 10-20 minutes of my early-to-rise morning to read a book. Sometimes I read for a short break during the weekday, in-between tasks.

Here’s a look at the books I’ve read this year, 2013:Bookshelf 2013

5 Steps to Encouragement: A Manifesto for Changing the World by James Prescott

20,000 Days and Counting: The Crash Course for Mastering Your Life Right Now by Robert D. Smith and Andy Andrews (Jan 1, 2013)M

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki  (Author), Shawn Welch  (Author)

Early to Rise: Learn to Rise Early in 30 Days by Andy Traub (Jan 25, 2013)

Fresh Start: 31 Days to Simplify, Declutter and Rein in the Chaos by Sandy Kreps (Mar 5, 2013)

Lady in Waiting: A Novel by Susan Meissner (Sep 7, 2010)

Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers  (Author)

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt (Author)

Real Love: Guaranteed to Last by Anne Peterson  (Author), Jessica L. Peterson (Photographer), Kathleen Caron (Cover Design)

Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer by Richard J. Foster (Author)

She Makes it Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen  (Author)

The In-Between Time: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing (on audio) by Jeff Goins  (Author), Shauna Niequist (Foreword)

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin  (Author)

Watching the Tree Limbs (Maranatha Series #1) by Mary E DeMuth  (Author)

So what about you? What kind of reader are you? Avid (adhesive)? Emerging reader like me? Did I just hear a few non-readers plead the 5th amendment?

Regardless of your past experiences, I can attest that if you’re willing to let Him, God can help you change your mindsets about reading, eating—anything! You can ask God to help you shift the way you think so you may grow, improve, become better today than yesterday.

Isn’t that invigorating?

1)      Ask God now to help you write and recite your new script.

2)      Pray daily for God to help you change the actions you practice in your everyday scenes.

3)      Recite and rehearse your new way of Think!Say!Do!’n that you may ever-become better!

4)      Be gracious to yourself when you fail. Ask, ask, re-ask for God’s help.

5)      Invite a friend to be a special part of your journey toward positive change. #bettershared

Share your thoughts in the comments. Feel free to recommend books to read.

And just in case you’re wondering . . . I’ve decided to pick up my first classic read: Louisa May Alcott’s, Little Women!

I must, I must, I must increase my . . . knowledge.

Shannon Cochran

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